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MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


Jialletin of the ^Maryland Ornithological Society, £nc. 
2101 Bolton Street, Baltimore rj, ^Maryland 





THE MARYLAND ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC. 

2101 Bolton Street, Baltimore 17, Maryland 

State President: Dr. Charles J. Stine, 630? Belair Rri., Baltimore 6, Md. 
State Secretary: Mr. Robert M. Bowen, ?011 Leeds Ave., Baltimore 27, Md. 
State Treasurer: Cdr. Edward Wilson, 119 Archwood Ave., Annapolis, Md. 
First Vice President: Mr. Marvin Hewitt, Greensboro, Maryland 
Second Vice Presidents: William Leeson, Douglas Miner, Elmer Worthley 

Hazel White, Evelyn Gregory, Richard McCown, Hilda 
Smith, Francis Welch, 

Trustees: Prof. David Howard, Cdr. Edward Wilson, Stephen Simon, Rodney 

Jones, Dr. Lois Odell, Roberta Fletcher, Elsie 3ilbrough, Mrs. 
Sterling Edwards, Mr, Sterling Edwards, Walter Braun, George 
Drumm, Elsie Hovey, Goldie Thomsen, Richard Kleen, Dr. Thomas 
Ambler, Ronald Nevius. 

Membership Sec.: Mrs. Shirley Geddes, 503 Overbrook Rd., Balto. 12, Md. 

LOCAL CHAPTERS 

Allegany County Bird Club Frederick Branch, M.O.S., Inc. 

Avid Avists of Anne Arundel Co. Harford County Bird Club 
Balto. Chapter, M.O.S., Inc. Kent County Chapter, M.O.S., Inc, 

Caroline County Bird Club Takoraa Park Nature Club 

Talbot County Bird Club 


Out-of-state membership (Maryland Birdlife only) $2.00 

Junior membership (under 18 years) 

Life membership (payable in 3 equal installments) $7?,00 

Active membership $2.00 plu? Local Chapter dues 


CONTENTS, SEPTEMBER 1958 

Lark Bunting, an Addition to the Maryland List Brooke Meanley 59 

Seaside Sparrows in Anne Arundel County K. Friel Sanders 60 

Fate of a Gnateatcher Nest Naomi Hewitt 61 

Early Maryland Avid Avista Henry Francis Sturdy 62 

Nesting of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Robert E. Stewart 63 

Review: Birds of Maryland and D. C. Haven Kolb 64 

Sanctuaries Are Living Things. Part I S. W. Edwards 66 

Highlights of Annual Convention - 1958 S. W. Edwards 68 

Financial Statement of M. 0. S. 70 

A Ring-side Seat in Nature Pan Minke 71 

The Season — April, May, June, 1958 C. S. Robbins 72 

Coming Events 79 

COVER: Young Robin. Photograph by Dr. Charles J. Stine 

HEADINGS: By Irving E. Hampe, Art Editor 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 

Published Quarterly by the Maryland Ornithological Society, Inc. 
to Record and Encourage the Study of Birds in Maryland 

Editor: Chandler S. Robbins, Patuxent Refuge, Laurel, Md. 

Editorial Board: Mrs. Roberta Fletcher, Mrs. Mabel Hoyler, 

Richard L. Kleen, Gordon Knight, Mrs. Martina Luff, 
Charles J. Stine, W. Bryant Tyrrell 

Jr. Editorial Board: vfilbur Rlttenhouse, Gordon Knight, James Voshell 

Production: Gladys Cole, Margaret Murison, Gemma Rizner, Homer 

Rizner, Shirley Geddes 



MARYLAND BIRDUFE 


'Puijihiia) ptttrierltf ly lh 
^Maryland Omitiwloyical Society, £n c. 
aioi Jfolbn Sired, Baltimore ty, ^WarylaJtJ , 


Volume 14 


SEPTEMBER 1958 


Number 3 


LARK BUNTING, AN ADDITION TO THE MARYLAND LIST 
Brooke Meanley 


In the course of field studies In Dorchester County, Maryland, on 
July 10, 1958, a Lark Bunting ( Calamosplza melanocorys) was collected by 
the writer, Robert T. Mitchell and J, S. Webb. When first observed the 
bird was flying over a wheat stubble along the Taylor's Island road near 
Slaughter's Creek. 

As far as can be ascertained this is the first addition to the 
Maryland list since the recent publication by Stewart and Robbins (Birds 
of Maryland and the District of Columbia, 1958). 

The specimen was an adult male in breeding plumage with testes 
measuring 14 x 8 millimeters. 

Its stomach was examined and found to contain wheat seeds ( Trltlcum 
vulgare) , ragweed seeds ( Ambrosia sp. ) , Japanese beetles ( Poplllia 
japonlca ) , a grub ( Coleoptera larva) , and a leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) . 

The occurrence of the Lark Bunting in Maryland at this season of 
the year is especially interesting since Its normal breeding range lies 
west of central Kansas in the Great Plains region. 

A search of the literature reveals that a specimen was collected 
at Lexington, Virginia, by Dr. J. J. Murray on February 11, 1932 (Auk 
49: 359). 


U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel 


60 


Maryland birdlife 


Vol. 14, NO. 3 


SEASIDE SPARROWS WINTERING IN ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY 
K,. Friel Sanders 

Broadwater Point is roughly half way between Deale and Shady Side 
In Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The "point” is made up of a body of 
land which encompasses about 16 acres and is surrounded by Broadwater 
and Carr Creeks except for a fairly wide neck. A long, rather narrow 
strip of land separates Carr Creek from the Chesapeake Bay. The strip 
is made up chiefly of marsh interlaced with muskrat runs. The creek is 
approximately 200 feet across near our house and widens out quickly 
where it flows into Broadwater, which, in turn, goes into the Bay. Our 
banding and feeding station is on the creek-side of our house and 50 
feet from the bank where there is a four-foot drop into the marsh. The 
bank is covered with honeysuckle. In the edge of the marsh there are 
bushes ( Baccharis hallmi folia ) growing. These are also found on the 
high portion of the island. 

Our house is new and has no shrubbery; so, each winter we set up a 
brush pile to provide cover for the birds. This station has been in 
operation for two years. Prior to that, it was operated about 500 feet 
away at another house. This former station was also on the creek side, 
but on an arm of Carr Creek. 

February 22, 1955 was a cloudy day with a raw wind blowing. The 
temperature hovered around 36° F. I went to my all-purpose trap late in 
the afternoon to remove a bird. At first glance, I thought it was a 
Song Sparrow ( Melosplza melodia ) . I quickly realized by the behavior 
that I had a stranger. After careful examination, I identified the bird 
as a Seaside Sparrow ( Ammospiza maritima ) which was duly banded and re- 
leased. I have no other recorded dates for the Seaside during the winter 
of 1955, but off and on it would appear at the feeding area, especially 
if it was snowing or if it was cloudy and cold. The Seaside Sparrow was 
easily recognized in a flock of sparrows by its general conformation, 
size, color, and the beautiful markings on the back. It was scrappy and 
would fly at birds twice its size with mouth open and with tail and 
wings spread In a belligerent fashion. 

The winter of 1955-1956 brought no flighting of Seaside Sparrows at 
our station. However, January 15, 1957 was another raw, cold day with 
the temperature between 12° and 18° and with snow from the east. Late 
in the afternoon a banded Seaside Sparrow arrived at the station. The 
same disposition was evident. 

On January 17, 1957 the temperature hung between 10° and 14°. Just 
about dusk, when visibility was poor, two Seaside Sparrows arrived at 
the feeding area. One was banded, the other unbanded. 

On January 19, 1957 the weather was still very cold and snow 
covered the ground. The creeks were frozen solid, so Elizabeth Slater 
and I walked around the ice in Carr Creek to get to the island. Here 
we found eight Seaside Sparrows scratching in the bare ground at the 


September 1958 


MARYLAND BIHDLIFE 


61 


base of the bushes. There were probably more Seaside Sparrows there but 
we did not explore the entire island. Late the same day v;e had a banded 
Seaside back at the feeding area, scrapping with the other birds. After 
finishing its feeding it always seemed to d-ive over the bank into the 
marsh. 


The next time the Seaside was noted was on January 20. On January 
24 it was surprising to see the sparrow back again because the tempera- 
ture was 40°. February 28, 1957 was the kind of day on which we had 
learned to look for the Seaside, a north-northeast wind brought rain 
that turned to sleet. Sure enough, the banded Seaside arrived, late as 
usual. This was the final record for this sparrow in 1957. 

On January 3, 1958, the wind was between 8 and 10 m.p.h., and the 
temperature was 14°. At about 5 o'clock in the evening a banded Seaside 
Sparrow arrived at the feeding station. In our record book I found tte 
following notation for January 17, 1958:. "Temp. 32°; wind N.W. , 20-25 
m.p.h.; cloudy; Seaside Sparrow comes regularly." The next gecord for 
the sparrow was on January 19, 1958. The temperature was 20°, wind 15 
m.p.h., and the sky clear. 

January 26 was a cloudy day with the thermometer standing at 36°. 
This was the last date the bonded Seaside was seen. However, on Febru- 
ary 20, 1957, which was a cold, windy, snow-like day, an unbanded Sea- 
side Sparrow came to the feeding area. February 22 and 23 were both 
cold days and each day an unbanded Seaside arrived late in the afternoon 
to feed. February 23, 1958 was the last time a Seaside Sparrow has been 
seen at the feeding area. 


Broadwater Point, Churchton 


FATE OF A GNATCATCHER NEST 
Naomi Hewitt 

On May 3, 1958, while Roberta Fletcher and I were touring around 
Willlston Lake in Caroline County, we stopped by a woods border to look 
for birds. While we were there I spied a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher ( Pollop- 
tlla caerulea ) building its nest. The neat was about seven feet up in a 
sumac right by the edge of the road. It was covered with lichens, which 
made it look exactly like the bark of a tree. 

About a week later we returned and found the bird was still build- 
ing the nest which was about five inches high. In another week we re- 
turned and used a mirror to look into the nest; this revealed two punc- 
tured eggs, tfe took the nest from the tree and opened the bottom part 
to find one cowbird egg and one gnatcatcher egg. This answered our 
question as to why the one nest was built on top of the other. 


Greensboro 


62 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFS 


Vol. 14, NO, 5 


EARLY MARYLAND AVID AVTSTS 
Henry Francis Sturdy 

There is seeming archaelogical evidence that the first, at heart, 
Maryland ornithologist was that Indian lad who, centuries ago, made a 
bird "medicine bag." It was the usual Indian custom that at about the 
age of fourteen an Indian boy would go out alone into the woods and 
fields beyond the village in which he lived. In some secluded spot he 
would remain several days, fasting and praying to the Great Spirit. The 
animal he would then dream of he would select to be his guardian spirit 
in life. Out of the skin of this dreamed-of bird or beast he would make 
a "mystery" or "medicine" bag. Wherever he went, he would carry this 
"mystery bag" with him to Insure his having the constant protection of 
this spiritual guardian. 

One wonders, when finding on some Indian occupa- 
tional area of pre-historic days an arrowhead shaped 
like a perched owl, whether the Indian arrow-maker* s 
protective spirit had been the owl. If so, he inter- 
estingly enough, perchance, may have been Maryland’s 
first pre-historic avid avist, recording on this 
sculptured arrowhead a likfeness of his chosen guard- 
ian spirit. And he may have been the first Indian 
boy ornithologist, later to become a species spe- 
cialist. Some tribes of Indians, however, shunned 
owls as witches worthy of death. But others held 
an owl in great respect as a "warrior of the night." 

The first historical Maryland bird student, 

Cecilius Calvert, the First Lord Proprietary, though 
in absentia , was, too, a species specialist, but in 
"red" birds. His younger brother, Leonard, the Governor, wrote from St. 
Marys, 25th of April, 1638 to Cecilius in England: 

"I had procured a red bird and had kept it a good while to 
have sent it to you but I had the ill fortune to lose it by the 
negligence of my servant who carelessly let it out of the cage." 

Several months earlier, 5 January 1638-39, John Lewger, the Provin- 
cial Secretary, had written to the Lord Proprietary, Cecilius, in England: 
"ffor the birds, I have no cage to putt them in when they be 
taken, nor none about me dextrous in the taking of them, nor 
feeding of them, I have my self© so little leisure to look after 
such things, that I can promise little concerning them." 

Cecilius, seemingly, continued undiminished his interest in Mary- 
land "red" birds for, at least, thirty-four years. This is reflected in 
a letter his son, Charles Calvert, the then Governor, wrote to his 
father, 26 April 1672: 

"We have had such an open winter that all our Bird Catchers 
have failed, not so much as a Red bird hath been Caught by any 
that I can hear© of. I have oft spoken to my Cousin William Cal- 
vert about itt, and to my Cousin Darnell and others, And they all 
assure me that noe Birds are to bee had, and for my own part I 
seldome meet© w‘ :il any my self©, Butt I have not neglected to 
speaks to Every one th 6 I conceive might procure these things, 



September 1958 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


63 


had Sir W 21 been heere he would not have found itt soe Easy a mat- 
ter as hee has affirmed it to yo? LoPP, Those hawkes which I sent 
yo? Lordshipp last shippings were paid for by mee, And if more 
Could bee gott now I would willingly give any Rates for them, or 
any other rarities yo? desires.” 

"Slippery Hill," 85 Shipwright Street, Annapolis 


NESTING OF THE RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER IN MARYLAND 


Robert E. Stewart 



In Maryland, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Dendrocopos borealis) is 
known to occur regularly in only one area — the vicinity of Golden Hill in 
Dorchester County. The first records xvere made by F. R. Smith, who ob- 
served single birds and small flocks during the periods of June 2 — Novem- 
ber 39, 1932 and April 8 — September 30, 1933. More recent records in the 
Golden Hill area include one of a single bird seen on October 8, 1955 (P. 
Hurlock) and another of 2 birds seen on September 20, 1956 (p. F. Spring- 
er) . The only other record for the State is for a single young bird that 
was observed by Brooke 
Meanley on Assateague Is- 
land on June 9, 1939. 

The populations of 
this species in the Gol- 
den Hill area must be 
very small at the pre- 
sent time, as during the 
past two years I have 
spent many hours search- 
ing for them without suc- 
cess. My efforts were 
amply repaid, however, 
when on May 30, 1958, 

Brooke Meanley and I had 
the pleasure of observing 
a mated pair that had an 
active nest. These birds 
were in an open stand of 
mature loblolly pine that 
is located about 3 miles 
south- southeast of Golden 
Hill. The nest was situ- 
ated about 30 feet up in 
a mature loblolly pine. 

As is usual with the Red- 
cockaded Woodpecker, the 
entrance of the nest was 


facing toward the west. 

At the time that the Nesting habitat of Red-cockaded woodpeckers 
birds were first observed, near Golden Hill. Photo by Brooke Meanley. 


64 


MARYLAND BIHDLIFE 


Vol. 14, NO. 3 

one of them was busily engaged in removing the bark and chiseling into 
the surface wood of the tree, within 6 inches of the nest hole. 

Later, during the evening of June 8, 1958, Samuel Dyke, Chandler S. 
Robbins and I visited the nesting site, and, after waiting about 20 min- 
utes, we observed both birds approaching the nest tree. One bird soon 
left, but the other entered the nest after first spending a few minutes 
inspecting the trunk of the nest tree. On June 24, 1958, Raul Springer 
visited the area and observed one bird on the nest tree. He measured 
the tree and found the diameter at breast height to be 11 inches. 

On July 23, 1958, Mr. Dyke revisited the nesting site, but did not 
see or hear the birds. With an increment borer he ascertained that the 
nest tree is about 90 years old and that it is infected with red-ring 
rot ( Fomes pint ) . Many of the other trees in the same tract obviously 
also are infected with this fungus. As most of them are nearly the same 
size as the nest tree, it is probable that they are about the same age. 
The owner of the tract informed Mr. Dyke that both fire and encroachment 
by salt water have played a part in reducing the vigor of the trees. 

Throughout its range, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker shows a preference 
for open stands of mature pine. Various observers in the southern states 
have noticed that this woodpecker apparently always constructs its nests 
in mature pines that are .infected with the red-ring rot fungus. Ordinar- 
ily this fungus is found only in mature or over-mature pines. In Mary- 
land, open stands of mature pine occur naturally in only a few submarginal 
areas that adjoin the tidal marshes in the lower Eastern Shore. Even in 
these restricted situations most of the mature stands have been cut over 
during the past 30 years. This continuing destruction of the limited 
amount of suitable habitat probably accounts for the very local occur- 
rence and scarcity of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker in Maryland. 

Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel 


BOOK REVIEW 

Birds of Maryland and the District of Columbia by Robert E. Stewart and 
Chandler S. Robbins - North American Fauna No. 62: United States Depart- 
ment of the Interior - Government Printing Office: Washington: 1958. 

Vi 401 pp. $1.75. 

To all Maryland bird students the appearance of this volume must 
mark the most important publishing event of the decade. Other recent 
works have been more beautiful, more erudite, more widely important, but 
none can take precedence as the authoritative reference for information 
concerning the status of birds in our State. 

It is a work which is different in many ways from other ’’state” 
bird books. It makes no attempt to be dazzling with color plates. It 
does not offer any descriptions of the birds. In other words, it is use- 
less (intentionally so) for identification. It lacks character sketches, 
which sometimes adorn such works with literary appeal. 

But it does not differ in negative matters only. It is unusually 
rich in maps illustrating details of distribution. It presents its 


September 1958 


MARYLAND BIRDLIF5 


65 


information on each species in a logical and orderly manner. It makes 
full use of banding data. It is thoroughly ecological in its perspec- 
tive. It is consistently quantitative in its approach. These points 
combine to make the volume perhaps the most ‘advanced presentation of the 
bird life of any state. As such it will undoubtedly claim the attention 
of students far beyond our borders. 

The book consists of 41 pages of introduction, 333 pages devoted to 
a systematic accounting of the species, a literature list, three appen- 
dices, and an index. The introduction provides an excellent summary of 
the past work on the birds of thB State, a statement of the objectives, 
methods, and assistance received in the present work, and a concise dis- 
cussion of the ecological conditions in the State with subdivisions of 
the area (according to physiography and phytogeography) containing lists 
of characteristic birds. One of the appendices gives important observa- 
tions since the completion of the manuscript and provides a figure of 
334 species plus 19 hypothetical as of March 1958. 

The species accounts vary in length and in organization, but except 
for species of accidental or hypothetical occurrence the material is 
arranged in a typographically well-marked series of paragraphs. These 
paragraphs begin with Status and Habitat, but the remaining ones vary 
according to the nature of the case. For example; Eastern Kingbird — 
Status, Habitat, Nesting season, Spring migration, Fail migration. 
Breeding population densities, Maximum counts; Red-shouldered Hawk — 
Status, Habitat, Nesting season. Migration periods. Breeding population 
density, Maximum counts, Banding. 

Note "Breeding population densities'' and "Maximum counts." These 
are the headings that mark this volume as a pioneer. V/hlle the "Status" 
sections are conventional in the use of such terms as rare, common, and 
abundant, it is evident that the main Interest of the authors has been 
in numbers. In every possible case counts have been given and full use 
has been made of the quantitative studies linking numbers to areas in 
the breeding season. 

Of course, pioneers encounter difficulties. The meaning of some of 
the numerical data is not altogether clear. The scattered and fragmen- 
tary nature of the data is quite evident. But these things merely point 
to the future. While there will be but little change in what species 
may or may not be properly listed as Maryland birds, there will undoubt- 
edly be in the next decade great strides in our knowledge of how many of 
each species occur, of how these numbers fluctuate, of how these numbers 
are Influenced by the wide variations -of environmental conditions. The 
work of Stewart and Robbins clearly Indicates the kind of work that bird 
students of the future must pursue. 

There may be some who will deplore the fact that it required the 
action of the federal government to provide Marylanders with an adequate 
account of their bird life. But perhaps it is only a fitting recompense 
for the many square miles which the federal government has withdrawn 
from the use of Maryland bird students . — Blaven Kolb. 


66 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


Vol, 14, NO. 3 



SANCTUARIES ARE LIVING THINGS. PART I. 


Sterling W. Edwards 

A Bird Sanctuary in the State of Maryland will be a living thing 
under M. 0. S. care and supervision. Among our statewide membership is 
a core of competent, enthusiastic, natural scientists and whether of 
amateur or professional status, their interests include astronomy, bird 
life, nature photography, snakes, wildflowers, salamanders, grasses, 
mosses, ferns, trees, shrubs, pond life and turtles. These people are 
constantly giving of themselves wholeheartedly and without stint to lead 
trips, to teach their hobbies and subjects to the rest of us, to guide 
study groups, to instruct children in the ways of nature and, as indi- 
viduals, they keep abreast of, and informed in, their well-loved natural 
fields. From such a core of leaders this Sanctuary movement in the 
M. 0. S. has originated, and it embraces conservation of wildlife, pro- 
tection of bird life, preservation of naturel areas, and passing on 
acquired knowledge to the younger generation. 

Why Do We Need Sanctuaries? 

We need them because such areas will give sharper focus and point 
to our existence as bird study groups. We should not continue, year in 
year out, solely as social clans that have as primary aims the atten- 
dance at monthly meetings, conventions and trips to favorite blrdlng 
areas. We want to have a hand in preserving natural areas of our State, 
to conserve natural resources, and to help to educate others to do the 
same. We have the foresight to take action now while the average citizen 
is still asleep. Unless we take action in the near future, Marylanders 
will some morning awake to find their favorite areas flattened for air- 
fields, filled in for shore developments, or staked out in superhighways. 

It is our responsibility, since we realize the value of our native 
plants and animals and their need for living space, to Initiate an ac- 
tive educational program, and to devote more of our time and our money 
to teaching others these ways of nature that we love. 

What Kind of Sanctuaries Do We Need? 

We want 2 kinds of sanctuaries. One kind is a Natural Area. The 
emphasis is on Preservation. Improvements on it are to be kept at a 
minimum. Cutting of plants, picking of flowers, and disturbing plant or 


September 1958 


MfT/LAKD BIRDLIFE 


67 


animal life Is prohibited. It Is a plant-animal community for study 
purposes. It Is a place of peace and quiet and a Joy to own and to walk 
in. It may soon be too late to acquire such an area. 

The second kind of sanctuary is the "Improved Type." Emphasis is 
on education and, in time, there would be nature trails, guided tours, 
banding operations, and perhaps a nature museum; picnic facilities, 
water, and waste disposal are Important. There might be buildings in 
time, and of course, various kinds of bird studies would be carried on 
constantly. 

Such sanctuaries can be of 33 or 203 acres. The areas must be 
worthy of becoming sanctuaries. Uniform habitats are especially desir- 
able. They should be reasonably accessible. 

What Do We Do On These Sanctuaries? 

There will be much to do on both a scientific and an amateur basis. 
Advanced bird study and bird research would entail pursuits from popula- 
tion studies in static or changing habitats to studies of behavior or 
life history. One might watch a single wren family, or study the whole 
wren population through the four seasons. 

Everyone can be active in keeping nest records; keeping population 
records; helping with banding; studying bird weights, parasites, or 
plumage changes; studying bird song, food habits, or nesting success. 

The constant interest in identification would go forward with old and 
young alike. 

These are the combined thoughts of the members of the U. C. S. 
Sanctuary Committee for 1958 as set forth in a Tentative U. 0. S. Ac- 
quisition Program— Aims and Objectives. In time this Program will be 
set before the membership in greater detail. The writer is Chairman of 
the Sanctuary Committee and the other members are: Dr. Elmer G. Worth- 

ley, Mr. Stephen W. Simon, Mrs. Gladys Cole, Commander Edward Wilson, . 
Dr. Herbert G. Tanner, Mrs. Basil Gregory, Mr. Chandler S. Robbins. 

This group recently has viewed three tracts that have been under 
consideration as possible M. 0. S. sanctuaries: (1) 33 acres along the 
top of Elk Ridge Mountain in Washington County; (2) 106 acres on Catoctin 
Mountain in Frederick County; and (3) 100 acres on Deer Creek in Harford 
County. Results of our appraisal were: (1) Disturbed woodland; poor 

timber; deed, boundary, and supervision problems; generally unsuitable; 
(2) Still pending; (3) Still pending. On the calendar for future study 
are seven other areas, and Part II will Include a discussion of these. 
Three detailed Progress Reports of the Committee were sent to every 
branoh President for reading to his group, so that the entire membership 
may be informed on Sanctuary progress. You, in turn, can help your Com- 
mittee by recommending for consideration any specific areas that you be- 
lieve to be exceptionally well suited for our purposes. 


Grindstone Mill Firm, Myereville 


68 MARYLAND BIRDLIFB Vol. 14. No. 3 

HIGHLIGHTS OP ANNUAL CONVENTION - 1958 
3. W. Edwards 

The three-day annual Maryland Ornithological Society convention, 
held on May 9-11 at Camp Greentop in the Catoctln Mountain Park near 
Thurmont, was the scene of many activities interesting to birders con- 
gregated there from all over the Free State. 

Beginning on Friday noon, members of local chapters of the M.O.S. 
from Allegany County to the Eastern Shore converged on the mountain. 
Promptly at 5:30. each morning the rising bell started a series of early 
morning, mid-morning, afternoon and late evening bird hikes, long walks 
and caravan trips to special birdlng spots. 

Some Interesting Birds Seen 

A list of 105 different species observed over the three-day period 
Included several species that are uncommon in some of the other parts of 
the State: Bay-breastad, Kentucky, Chestnut-sided, Black- throated Blue, 

and Nashville V/arblers, 'Pileated Woodpecker, Pish Crows, a Bald Eagle, 
six kinds of swallows, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Upland Plover and Water 
Pipits. 

Special trips for special birds were made to Cunningham Palls for 
Blackburnian Warblers, the Monocacy River bridges for nesting grackles, 
and Emmitsburg Reservoir for Olive-sided Flycatcher. 

Other Nature Interests Available 

Many other activities of interest to registrants were arranged. One 
could study insects, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, fern allies and 
mosses under Dr. Elmer Worthley of the Baltimore Chapter. Telling birds 
by their calls was a feature of dawn and dusk trips led by Chan Robbins. 

One of the features of every bird convention is the presence of many 
children who constitute the junior membership. The general meeting was 
much interested in the Outdoor Education Program which is being carried 
on at Greentop by the Board of Education of Frederick County. This pro- 
gram was carefully explained by Mrs. Billie Taylor of Frostburg, observ- 
ing the program for Allegany County, and by Mrs. Ellen W. Edwards of 
Myersville, a sixth grade teacher who recently had her class at Greentop 
for a week of outdoor study and living. 

Other experts and leaders in their fields who lad trips or activi- 
ties were: Dr. Charles Stine, M.O.S. President, who had a class in 

nature photography; Irving Hampe and Gladys Cole, who carried on bird 
banding with the use of mist nets; Bill Lee son, of the Allegany Chapter, 
who gave instruction on trees, shrubs and wildflowera; and Jerry Flet- 
cher and Steve Simon, who led Sunday morning walks around camp. 


At late evening sessions Dr. Stine showed some of his many nature 



Eleventh Annual Convention of the Maryland Ornithological Society, Inc. 
Camp Greentop, Thurmont, Maryland, May 10-12, 1958 
Photo by Dr. Charles J. Stine 


70 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


Vol. 14. No. 5 


slides covering the flora and fauna of the New Jersey Pine Barrens; and 
Mr. and Mrs. Ha 11 owe 11 showed colored movies of New Jersey land and 
shorebirds. High fidelity recordings of bird songs recently released by 
the Federation of Ontario Naturalists were played on Friday and Sunday. 

Bird Banding Prominent Feature 

For two long days Ur. Hampe kept adults and children from walking 
into his almost invisible mist nets. These are 4 feet high and 30 feet 
long and are mounted with large rubber bands and tie cords to 8-foot 
posts. The more unusual birds banded were displayed briefly at the 
dining hall. One evening at dusk Mr. Hampe drove away two deer before 
they could damage the nets, but on Saturday night one crashed completely 
through a net, demolishing it. 

M.O.S. Embarks on Sanctuary Program 

For future attainment and to leave something definite for posterity, 
the Society voted at the Saturday business meeting to increase emphasis 
on the acquisition of bird sanctuaries in Maryland. Mr. Robbins ex- 
plained that a sanctuary is a natural area where all forms of life will 
be unmolested. It could be an upland swamp, a stretch of reedy shore- 
line, a piece of mountain land or a combination of habitats providing 
cover for a variety of bird species. It is hoped that in the very near 
future the Sanctuary Committee will be able to make arrangements to 
acquire our first sanctuary. 

About 110 persons registered at the convention and all felt it was 
a most enjoyable and profitable weekend, providing quite a contrast to 
our alternate convention site at Ocean City, where we shall return next 
year. 

Grindstone Run Farm, Myersville 


Maryland Ornithological Society, Inc. 
FINANCIAL STATEMENT, May 17, 1957 to May 12, 1958 


RECEIPTS: 

Dues $ 829.50 

Use of Paw Paw Shelter 21.50 
1957 Convention Reglstr. 126.00 
Sale of Arm Patches 6.00 

Sale of Maryland Blrdllfe 2.00 
Printing Md. Avifauna 25.00 

Total Receipts 1,010.00 

Balance May 17, 1957 181.22 

1,191.22 

Disbursements 598.53 

Balance May 12, 1958 $ 592.69 


DISBURSEMENTS: 


1957 Convention Expense 


$ 9.00 

General office expense 


119.74 

Printing Maryland Blrdllfe 

388.85 

Tree surer ' s Expense 


2.04 

Bank Service Charge 


.90 

Use of Catoctln Park 


78.00 

Total Disbursements 


598.53 

SANCTUARY BUND 

Balance May 17, 1957 

* 

994.00 

Contributions 


195.00 

Interest 


18.28 

Balance May 12, 1958 

$ 1 

.,207.28 


September 1958 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


71 



A RING-SIDE SEAT IN NATURE 
Pan Minke 

Just take a peek Into the mountainous area of Garrett County in 
western Maryland known as Pleasant Valley. Here, on the weekend of June 
13-15, 1958, you would have witnessed a hum of outdoor activity and good 
times. This was the scene of a week-end of nature study. There were 
some 31 participants Including two energetics from Philadelphia, a number 
of friends from Baltimore and suburbs, and representatives from Cumber- 
land and surrounding areas. The week-end was conducted by the Allegany 
County Bird Club, with Bill Leeson, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Douglas, and Billie 
Taylor serving as hosts. 

A check list of 67 species of birds was compiled during the three 
days. There were a number of indidents that will be recalled with 
pleasure. One trip, to whet is known es the upper bog, developed into 
quite an interesting event when a high-pitched call took curious eyes to 
the tree tops overhead. Keen eyes identified a pair of Brown Creepers 
and two young. Impressive remarks from the observers told of their de- 
light and surprise at viewing the first definite evidence of the nesting 
of this species in our State. 

The group also made a general survey of the nesting bird population 
and within the three-day period reported 36 active nests. 

A pair of adult Pileated Woodpeckers made a curious picture against 
the background of good -weather sky and thick green foliage. Numerous 
deer added to the delight of the week-enders. 

A number of beaver Inhabit the fresh-water stream. These furnished 
amusement to those who alarmed them, by the furious slap of the broad, 
flat tail. 

It*s all Just quite lovely. All nature is so. Just give a good, 
long look around you. Let all your eyes see flow into your thought. 

You will see and think in beauty that could never be substituted in 
museums or galleries of the world’s finest art. Here you have a ring- 
side sest to loveliness. Why not spend a week-end In nature! 


106 McKinley Avenue, Cumberland 



72 


IiIaHYLAHD birdlife 


Vol. 14. No. 3 


THE SEASON 


April, May, June, 19!# * 

Chandler S. Robbins 

The cold, wet weather that characterized March continued through 
the first half of April. Maryland experienced subnormal average temper- 
atures for this period, as did all of the South Atlantic States. Indeed, 
there was not a single influx of Tropical air into our State until April 
20. Consequently, bird migration continued to lag. During the latter 
half of April the temperature anomaly was reversed, with the result that 
the average temperature for the entire month was nearly a degree above 
the norm. Conditions were reversed again in May, when there was a tem- 
perature deficiency of between 1 and 2 degrees in all parts of the State. 

The spring migration, in general, was disappointing. Both the van- 
guard and the peak movements of many migrant species were late; of 32 
species that normally arrive in April, twice as many arrived behind 
schedule as ahead of schedule (Table 1). When the expected peaks for 
some species did not come at about the usual time, we anticipated some 
heavy late movements. But no general late movement was detected; in 
fact, the migration of passerine species ended a bit early. The only 
transient passerines that were reported in June were a White -throated 
Sparrow (Roberta Fletcher) and a Baltimore Oriole (Marguerite Howard). 

Most of the songbirds that generally are scarce in spring were 
scarcer than usual in 1958- The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Short-billed 
Marsh Wren, and Philadelphia Vireo were missing from the list of spring 
migrants; there was only one report of the Mourning Warbler (patapsco 
State Park, May 3* Irving Hampe and Percy Jones) and one report of Lin- 
coln's Sparrow (near Great Falls, May 10, Philip A. DuMont). The Wil- 
son's Warbler was found in only 3 counties and the Gray-cheeked Thrush 
in only 5 counties. The only Olive-sided Flycatcher that was seen was 
the one that John Richards found 'on request' on May 10 for a party of 
observers attending the M.O.S. Convention; the bird was not found in its 
usual tree at the Emmiteburg Reservoir, but was discovered within sight 
of that tree. There was only one report each of the Least and Traill's 
Flycatchers from as far east as the Coastal Plain (at Laurel, Robbins). 




* For the benefit of those who wish to keep their copies of Birds of 
Maryland up-to-date, we shall underscore all dates and numbers that 
supercede those published in the book. 


September 1958 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


73 


Observers from all parts of the State continue to report scarcities 
of certain species of nesting birds. Here are a few typical comments : 
n I have not seen a 6 ingle Bluebird this year." (Irwin Miller, Grants - 
ville) j "I have noted an unprecedented dearth of Phoebe s and Ovenbirds." 
(Haven Kolb, Loch Raven); "This is the first year in 19 years I have had 
not a single House Wren, and 8 other people have said the same thing. I 
have always had 3 houses occupied. They haven't been painted or anything 
changed." (Mrs. W. L. Henderson, Gibson Island). 

We know that bird populations are changing constantly. Some species 
are gradually expanding their breeding ranges; others are withdrawing 
from territory they have occupied for several years. Such changes are 
natural and need cause no alarm. Anyone that has kept records in Mary- 
land for 8 or 10 years is aware of the decrease in Carolina Wrens that 
occurs during the more severe winters; this decrease is followed by a 
fairly rapid build-up of populations during ensuing breeding seasons. 

We do not doubt that the Carolina Wrens will recover from their present 
low numbers in two or three years, unless they suffer severe mortality 
in the next couple of winters. 

Similarly, other species that now are much scarcer than normal prob- 
ably will regain their usual abundance in a very few years, unless they 
become the victims of recurrent disaster. We all can do our part toward 
detecting serious drops in the population of any species by keeping accu- 
rate records of the numbers that nest in Borne specific area. The few 
breeding-bird censuses that are conducted in Maryland each summer should 
be supplemented by other similar censuses or by counts made over definite 
routes under standard conditions of time and weather. This needed knowl- 
edge of actual numbers is something to which all field observers can con- 
tribute in the course of their normal activities. If you cannot find 
time to conduct a breeding-bird census in a tract of uniform habitat near 
your home, perhaps you can keep an accurate count of all bird6 seen or 
heard during a specific length of time as you walk along your favorite 
route early on a June morning; then you can repeat the same coverage on 
about the same day in each subsequent year. An example of a count of 
this kind is the one that was submitted by Sterling Edwards and Orville 
Crowder; on June 23 they hiked the 9 miles of the S & T Canal towpath, 
which runs along the Harford County shore of the Susquehanna River from 
Conowingo to Havre de Grace. The 10 most common species, that they re- 
corded on nesting territories were: Red-eyed Vireo, 22; Indigo Bunting, 

17; Kentucky Warbler; 10; Acadian Flycatcher, 9; Parula Warbler, 7; 

Tufted Titmouse, 6; Cerulean Warbler, 6; Wood Thrush, 5; Prothonotary 
Warbler, 5; and American Redstart, 5* Of the species that generally are 
reported to be especially scarce this summer, they saw 3 each of the 
Eastern Phoebe and Carolina Wren; the habitat was not suitable for the 
Killdeer, House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, or Ovenbird. 

Migration tables . Tables 1 and 2 show, respectively, the earllest- 
arrival and latest -departure dates for the spring of 19 5 ® in those count- 
ies for which the most data are available. A zero indicates that no re- 
cord for the species was obtained during the spring migration period. A 
dash means that the species was reported, but that no significant migra- 


74 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


7ol. 14. No. 3 


Table 1. Spring Arrival Dates, 1958 


Speclea 

Green Heron 
Oeprey 

Spotted Sandpiper 
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 


Median 

1956 ~I957~ 1958 
4/22 4/24 4/20 


4/24 
5/ 5 


5/ 2 


4/16 

4/26 


AHe Wash Fred Mont Balt Pr.O Anne Caro Talb LES* 

4/13 


5 / 4 


5/3 
5/ 3 


5/ 1 
4/13 
5/ 3 


4/18 
4/ 4 
4/26 


5/ 4 
5/4 
4/19 


4/ 2 
5/ 4 
4/20 


4/21 
5/ 2 


4/22 

3/25 

4/25 


4/13 

4/19 

4/25 


3/16 

4/27 


Black-billed Cuckoo 



5/ 4 

5/3 

0 

5/ 3 

5/10 

5/ 8 

5/ 4 


0 

0 

5/ 4 

Whip-poor-will 
Common Nighthavk 
Chimney Swift 
Ruby-thr. Hummingbird 
Eastern Kingbird 

V19 
5/ 3 
4/6 
5/ 3 
4/28 

“5/2i 
5/ 2 
4/20 
4/23 

4/23 

5/ 2 
4/10 
4/30 
4/24 

5/ 4 

4/28 
5/ 4 
5/ 3 

' 5/24 
5/ 3 
4/17 

5/ ”3 

5/ 1 
4/ 7 
4/30 
V3° 

ITT 
5/ 9 
V 5 
5/ 9 
V26 

“W 

4/20 
4/13 
5/ 3 
4/26 

4/21 
5/10 
4/ 9 
4/30 
4/20 

“57s- 

4/ 3 
4/21 
4/22 

~W 

5/ 1 
4/l4 
4/30 
4/22 

-57IO 

4/27 

4/11 

4/26 

4/22 

4/21 
5/ 3 
4/ 8 
4/25 
4/21 

Ot. Crested Flycatcher 
Eastern Phoebe 
Acadian Flycatcher 
Eastern Wood Pevee 
Tree Swallow 

4/27 

5/ 5 
5/ 6 

4/2tT 

5/ 4 
5/ 4 

4/30 
V 1 
5/ 3 

5/ 3 
4/28 

5/ 3 
5/ f 

5/ 3 
5/16 

yr 

3/12 

5/ 3 
4/ 7 

4/27 
3/29 
5/ 3 

5/10 
5/ 3 

V5F 
4/ 2 
5/ 3 
5/ 3 

~w 

3/23 

5/ 4 
5/ 4 
4/ 5 

”57T 

4/ 4 
5/ 1 
5/ 3 
4/30 

Srr 
4/ 1 

5/ 2 
5/ 3 
4/ 7 

-57ST 

5/*3 
5/ 1 
4/ii 

4/27 
5/ 3 

y 4 

3/29 

Rough-winged Swallow 
Bam Swallow 
Purple Martin 
House Wren 
Catbird 

4/ 4 
3/27 
4/26 
4/28 

4/iB 
4/ 7 
3/27 
4/16 

ys 5 

4/13 
4/io 
4/ 4 
4/22 

M 29 

5/ 4 
4/24 
4/10 
5/2 
5/ 2 

4/19 
5/ 3 
4/29 

V 3 

4/13 

V 3 
4/18 
5/ 1 

4/ 4 
4/ 4 
4/ 4 
4/22 
4A9 

4/20 
4/ 5 
4/13 
4/23 
4/23 

Tv/ 4 
4/ 5 
4/ 5 

4/22 

4/21 

-TTT 

4/ 9 
4/9 
4/21 
4/23 

4/14 
3/31 
4/25 
5/ 3 

“573" 
4/10 
4/ 3 
4/20 
5/ 3 

“TO 

4/~4 

4/27 

4/27 

Brown Thrasher 
Wood Thrush 
Swalnson's Thrush 
Veery 

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 

V 5 
4/27 
5/ 5 
4/30 
4/ 7 

VT 
4/22 
5/ 4 
5/ 4 
4/13 

4/ 7 
4/26 
5/ 7 
5/ 8 
Vis 

y a 

5/ 2 
5/ 2 

4/22 
5/ 3 
5/ 3 
5/16 

“W" 

4/30 
5/ 8 
5/10 
4/21 

TTT 

4/26 

4/26 

5/8 

4/14 

Tf 

4/24 
5/8 
5/ 3 
4/18 

y 3 

4/22 
5/ 6 
5/ 6 
4/19 

-57V 

4/22 
5/10 
5/ 2 
4/15 

4/21 

0 

5/n 

4/17 

"W 

5/ 3 
0 
0 

4/19 

"5/15 

4/26 

4/ b 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 
White-eyed Vlreo 
Yellow- throated Vlreo 
Red -eyed Vlreo 
Black-&-wbite Warbler 

4/28 

4/30 

4/29 

4/22 

4/27 

4/28 

4/27 

4/22 

4/l6 
4/26 
5/ 1 
4/29 
4/20 

0 

5/4 
5/ 3 

4/24 

0 

& 

"TO" 

4/28 

5/ 3 
4/24 

4/18 
4/26 
5/ 3 
4/29 

4/26 

-yxr 

5/ 2 
4/30 
5/ 3 

4/20 

“5715" 

4/23 

4/29 

4/21 

4/15 

4/14 

4/25 

5/ 2 
4/29 
4/21 

■w 

4/21 
5/ 1 
4/29 
4/i6 

4/26 4/15 
- 4/26 

4/26 4/22 
4/20 4/ 9 

Worm-eating Warbler 
Golden-winged Warbler 
Blue-winged Warbler 
Parula Warbler 

4/30 

5/ 4 
5 / 1 

4/28 

4/28 

4/21 

4/26 
5/ 3 
4/29 
4/30 
4/25 

0 

5/3 

5/ 3 
0 

5/ 4 

3*1 

0 

5/ 3 

0 

5/ 3 
5/ 8 

5/9 
5/9 
5/ 2 

4/26 

0 

5/ 3 
0 

5/ 4 
4/2° 

4/22 

4/29 

4/30 

4/19 

4/28 

4/21 

4/20 

“yli 

0 

0 

4/30 

4/30 

"5755" 

5/ 3 
0 
0 

4/24 

4/20 

4/26 

4/26 

4/26 

4/15 

Yellow Warbler 
Magnolia Warbler 
Cape May Warbler 
Black-thr. Blue Warb. 
Myrtle Warbler 

V/2H 
5/ 2 

4/24 
5/ 4 
4/27 
4/28 
4/21 

4/24 
5/ 4 
5/ 4 
5/ 4 
4/l6 

4/24 

5/ 4 
0 

5/ 3 
5/ 3 

4/24 
5/12 
5/16 
5/ 9 

5/ 1 

5/ 4 
5/ 7 
5/ 4 

y 1 ? 

4/26 
5/ 8 

& 

4/19 

VST 
5/ 3 
5/ 3 
5/ 3 
3/ 6 

4/20 

5/10 

5/ 4 
5/10 
4/20 

” 4/20 
5/ 4 
5/4 
5/10 
4/ 9 

"575o" 

5/10 

0 

5/14 

"57§5r 

0 

0 

0 

4/26 

"57% 
5/ 4 
0 

4/26 

4/13 

Cerulean Warbler 
Blackburnian Warbler 
Yellow- thr. Warbler 
Chestnut-elded Warbler 

5/ 2 
5/ 1 

”5/ 4 
5/ 2 

5/ 4 
5/ 3 
5/ 4 

5/ 4 

5/ 3 
5/ 4 
5/4 
0 

5/ 2 

"3715" 

5/ 3 
0 

$7 t 
0 

5/ * 

0 

5/ 4 

-W 

5/ 9 
5/10 
0 

5/ 8 

4/26 
5/ 3 
5/ 4 
0 

5/ 3 

“5750" 
5/ l 
5/ 4 

5/~4 

TTT 

0 

4/18 
5/ 9 

0 

0 

5/17 

4/18 

5/10 

0 

0 

0 

4/20 
5/ 1 

-IP? 

0 

5/ 4 
4/13 
5/ 4 

Bay-breasted Warbler 
Blackpoll Warbler 
Pine Warbler 
Prairie Warbler 
Ovenbird 

yn- 

5/ 5 
4/28 

5/ 4 
4/25 

5/ 4 
4/24 
4/26 
5/ 1 

0 

0 

0 

5/ 4 

5/4 

0 

5/17 

0 

5/ 3 
5/12 

ifro- 

5/ e 
0 

5/ 3 
5/ 3 

ifrc- 

5/ 3 
0 

4/26 
5/ 3 

0 

y 3 
y 3 

w 
5/ 2 
4/ 1 
4/21 
4/20 

“5715" 
5/ 4 
5/ 3 
4/21 
4/29 

0 

5/10 

4/25 

4/21 

0 

5/ 4 
-4/24 
4/24 
5 / 3 

0 

5/ 4 
4/ 2 
4/22 
4/15 

Northern Waterthruah 
Louisiana Waterthruah 
Kentucky Warbler 
Yellowthroat 
Yellow-breasted Chat 

4/29 
4/15 
5/ 4 
4/28 

5/~l_ 

5/ 2 
4/13 

5/ 4 
4/21 

5/jL 

5/ 4 
4/14 
5/ 2 
4/20 
5/ 3 

0 

4/13 

0 

5/ 3 
5/ 4 

0 

5/ 3 

5/ 3 
4/30 

O 

y 3 

5/ 3 
4/22 

5/ 3 

5/10 
4/13 
5/ 3 
4/24 
5/ 2 

ir 

& 
5/ 3 

y 4 

4/14 
5/ 2 
4/20 
5/ 2 

“57ir 

3/24 
5/ 2 
4/17 
5/ 3 

"5 rr 

4/14 
5/ 1 
4/18 
4/23 

-v- 

4/20 
5/ 3 
4/20 
5/ 3 

"5/2 0 
V 7 
4/20 
4/15 
5/ 3 

Hooded Warbler 
Canada Warbler 
American Redstart 
Bobolink 
Orchard Oriole 

4/29 
5/ 5 
4/28 
5/ 3 
4/30 

4/30 
5/ 4 
5/ 4 
5/ 4 
4/28 

4/30 
5/ 8 
4/28 
5/ 8 
4/30_ 

5/ 4 
5/ 4 
4/24 

-3/ 7 

ITT 

5/*3 

5/30 

57 3 

4/30 

5/16 

4/26 
5/ 9 
4/22 
5/10 
5/ 3 

w - 

5/ 3 
4/28 
5/ 4 
0 

■w- 

5/ 8 
4/20 
4/27 
5/ 2 

"5/5B" 

5/10 

y 2 

5/ 5 
4/25 

0— 

5/14 

4/30 

5/i5 

4/29 

0 

0 

0 

5/ 3 
5/ 1 

-5/10 

y fc 

4/15 

5/14 

4/26 

Scarlet Tanager 
Summer Tanager 
Rooe-bre . Grosbeak 
Blue Grosbeak 

4/28 ’ 
4/29 

5/ 5 

w 

4/28 
5/ 7 
5/ 4 

y 3 

4/30 
5/ 3 
5/ 3 
4/27 

3/ ^ 

5/ 3 
0 

5/ 4 
0 

y 3 

5/ 3 
0 

0 

5/ 4 
5/ 3 

0 

5/ 3 
0 

57 3 
4/29 
5/10 
5/ 9 

"W 

4/29 

0 

5/ 3 
0 

T 7 W - 

y 1 

5/10 
4/28 
5/ 1 

17~T" 

4/25 

4/18 

4/21 

■W" 

4/30 

4/21 

5/12 

4/27 

y^~ 

5/ 3 

y 3 

5/ 3 
5/ 3 

V5F 

4/26 

4/29 

4/26 

4/27 

Indigo Bunting 
Rufous-sided Tovhee 
Grasshopper Sparrow 
Vesper Sparrow 
Chipping Sparrow 
White-crowned Sparrow 

■4725“ 

4/29 

4/27 

4/23 

5/ 3 
4/ 8 
5/ 3 
4/14 
4/13 
5/ 4 

5/ 3 
4/24 
5 / 4 
5/ 4 
4/24 
5/ 3 

5/ 3 
4/17 
4/23 
3/31 

5/12 

37T" 

4/15 

5/ 3 

4/13 

5/ 3 

irr 

4/19 

4/19 

4/19 

4/15 

5/ 3 

■w 

3/29 

5/ 4 
4/ 5 
4/13 
5/ 3 

4/29 

3/30 

4/13 

4/6 

5/10 

4/29 

3/3i 

4/15 

4/ 4 
5/13 

W" 

3/29 

5/ 3 
4/14 
4/ 6 
5/ 5 

irr 
5/ 3 

4/14 

0 

IT? 

4/26 

4/13 

0 


September 1953 


Maryland birdlife 


75 


Table 2. Spring departure dates, 1958 


Species 

Wash 

Fred 

Mont 

Balt 

Pr.G 

Anne 

Caro 

LES* 

Whistling Swan 

0 

0 

3/29 

4/19 

3/24 

5/ 4 

4/12 


Canada Goose 

-- 

4/10 

4/ 4 

-- 

4/19 

5/13 

5/ 5 

5/11 

Blue Jay 

-- 

5/10 

5/10 

» 

5/16 

5/13 



White -breasted Nuthatch 

5/ 2 

-- 

4/29 

4/ 8 

4/ 3 

5/ 3 

4/27 


Red-breasted Nuthatch 


5/11 

5/13 

5/14 

5/10 

5/10 

5/ 9 

5/n 

Brown Creeper 

— 

-- 

5/16 

4/18 

4/ 9 


4/27 


Hermit Thrush 




4/27 

4/10 

4/21 

4/ 8 

4/26 

Swainson's Thrush 

0 

5/16 

5/31 

5/31 

5/24 



0 

«... 

Gray-cheeked Thrush 

0 

5/17 

0 

5/22 

5/25 

0 

0 

0 

Veery 

5/16 

5/16 

5/n 

5/20 

5/31 

5/10 

5/14 


Ruby-crowned Kinglet 


5/10 

5/10 

4/19 

5/10 

5/10 

4/27 


Solitary Vireo 


5/10 

5/10 

— 

5/14 

5/10 

0 

0 

Magnolia Warbler 

5/19 

5/15 

5/10 

5/17 

5/26 

5/13 

5/15 


Cape May Warbler 

5/16 

5/n 

5/10 

0 

5/17 

5/10 

0 

0 

Black- thr. Blue Warbler 

0 

5/n 

5/10 

5/17 

5/17 

5/10 

5/14 

5/n 

Myrtle Warbler 

— 

5/16 

5/io 

5/14 

5/25 

5/13 


5/n 

Black-thr. Green Warbler 

5/16 

5/i7 

5/13 

5/19 

5/15 

5/10 

0 

5/n 

Blackburnian Warbler 

" 

5/10 

5/10 

5/19 

5/17 


5/17 

0 

Chestnut -sided Warbler 

_ «. 

5/ii 

5/10 

5/15 

5/10 

5/10 

5/17 

5/n 

Bay-breasted Warbler 

0 

5/17 

5/17 

0 

5/17 

5/19 

0 

0 

Blackpoll Warbler 

5/24 

5/18 

5/25 

5/24 

5/30 

5/12 

5/19 

5/25 

Northern Waterthrush 

0 

0 

5/10 

0 

5/10 

5/13 

5/12 

5/n 

Canada Warbler 

0 

0 

5/25 

5/30 

5/l8 


5/i4 


American Redstart 

— 

5/18 

— 

5/15 

5/30 

5/23 

5/23 

5/24 

Bobolink 

_ _ 

5/n 

5/10 

0 

5/25 

5/14 

5/15 

5/24 

Baltimore Oriole 

— 

-- 

5/21 

5/21 

5/31 

6/2 



Rose -breasted Grosbeak 

-- 

5/12 

5/10 

5/17 

5/17 

5/ 7 

5/12 

5/n 

Evening Grosbeak 

4/12 

5/n 

5/10 

5/12 

5/15 

4/ 5 

5/19 

4/20 

Purple Finch 

4/ 1 

5/17 

5/10 

5/1.5 

5/18 

5/4 


__ 

Pine Siskin 

0 

5/10 

5/10 

5/14 

4/20 




Savannah Sparrow 

_ _ 


5/14 


5/10 

5/14 

5/16 


Slate-colored Junco 

-- 

5/8 

5/14 

5/ 4 

5/10 

5/10 


5/ 4 

Tree Sparrow 

— 


4/ 5 

3/29 

3/21 


3/23 


White -crowned Sparrow 

5/16 

5/l8 

5/16 

5/6 

5/10 

-- 

5/ 7 

.. 

White -throated Sparrow 

5/16 

5/17 

5/22 

5/18 

5/25 

5/23 

6/ 1 

5/15 

Swamp Sparrow 

-- 

-- 

5/10 

5/17 

5/10 

5/4 

5/10 

5/24 


tion date was obtained. Several permanent-resident and summer -resident 
species are included in Table 2; the dates given for these species are 
those when the last migrating individuals were detected. For the Blue 
Jay, it is easy to separate migrating flocks from the local nesting birds. 
It is not so easy to distinguish migrating White -breasted Nuthatches, 
American Redstarts, and Baltimore Orioles, except in localities or habi- 


76 


hIAHYLhID birdlime 


Vol/14, No. 3 

tats where these species do not nest* As usual, scores of members con- 
tributed to the migration dates in these tables; thanks are extended to 
everyone who sent in notes. Those observers whose dates appear in the 
tables in reference to 3 or more species are: Alle gany County: Charlotte 
Richardson; Wash ington County: Mrs. Lloyd Mallonee, Dr* Ralph Stauffer; 
Frede rick County: Sterling Edwards, Dr. John Richards, Sarah Quinn, Her- 
bert Tanner; Mont gomery County: Walter Booth, Katherine Goodpasture, 

John Fales, Seth Low; Balt imore City and County: Haven Kolb, Stephen 
Simon, Hervey Brackbill'T'Hr. and Mrs. Hans Kriram, Mrs. Albert Walker, Mrs. 
James Oliver, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Lubbert; Prince Georges County: Chandler 
Robbins, John Fales, Paul Springer, Leona rcTLleweTlyn, Robert Stewart, 
Brooke Meanley, Ronald Feller, David Bridge; Anne Arundel County: Mrs. 

W. L. Henderson, Mrs. Gail Tappan, Prof, and Mrs. David Howard, Fr. Edward 
Stoehr, Martina Luff; Caro line County: Marvin Hewitt, Roberta Fletcher, 
Alicia Knotts; Talb ot County: Richard Kleen; Lower Eastern Shore (Wor- 
cester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Dorchester Counties): Samuel 5yke, David 
Cutler, Philip DuMont, Harriet Sutton. 

Loons, Herons , and Ibises . The greatest flight of Common Loons that 
ever was reported in Maryland was witnessed on April 27; David Cutler saw 
flocks flying north past Ocean City all morning, and his estimate for the 
day was 1,800 . The Mills Island heron colony had another successful year. 
Jacob Valentine* s report on the nesting Cattle Egrets, and a sample count 
of nests of other species in the colony, was published in the June issue. 
Mr. Valentine estimated that there were mure than 30 Glossy Ibis nests in 
the Mills Island colony this year, as compared witE“5 or 6 nests in 1957 
and 2 in 19^6. On May 12 he estimated the following numbers of pairs of 
other species in the colony: Little Blue Heron, 8; Common Egret, 10; 

Snowy Egret, 1!?0; Louisiana Heron, 15; and Black-crowned Night Heron, 100. 
Observations of young and adult birds on July 2 indicated that the pre- 
liminary estimates for Little Blue, Common Egret, and Louisiana Heron 
should be doubled (Stewart, Kiel, and Robbins). In past years the only 
heron nesting on the channel islands off South Point and along Sinepuxent 
Bay has been the Green Heron. On June 27, 1958, Ellis Miller and Neil 
Hotchkiss saw an estimated 50 Snowy Egrets and at least 1 Louisiana Heron 
together with a few Green Herons on the south island off South Point. 

Five days later, Stewart and Robbins located 2 Louisiana Heron nests, 2 
Green Heron nests, and 1 Common Egret nest on this island; all these nests 
contained young. Many Snowy Egrets were out of their nests, but 39 young 
were captured and banded. On the neighboring island. Miller and Hotchkiss 
noted a few Snowy Egrets and about 25 Green Herons on June 27; on July 2, 
Stewart and Robbins found 3 Snowy Egret nests, all with young birds. All 
the Sinepuxent Bay islands were checked on July 3, but no more white her- 
ons were found to be nesting; at least 25 pairs of Green Herons nested on 
the islands near buoy 21. 

Swans and Geese . A late flock of 50 Whistling Swans was seen at 
ChurcHlon on”Eay R (Elizabeth Slater and Friel Sanders). The last migrat- 
ing flocks of Canada Geese included 125 birds at Aberdeen on April 30 
(Grace Wright) and 50 at Denton on May 1: (Roberta Fletcher). Also on 
May li, Sam Dyke counted 5l immature Snow Geese at Ocean City; this ties 
the Tate record reported by Martha Dubois at Kent Island in 1957. 


September 1958 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


77 


Ducks . Four American Widgeon that were seen on May 30 and a Red- 
head thal was seen on May 23# all at Triadelphia Reservoir (Walter M. 
Booth), are considered to T5e late migrants rather than cripples or sum- 
mer vagrants. A drake Canvasback that was spotted on the Patapsco River 
on May 30 and June 1 by Irving Hampe also is believed to be a late mi- 
grant, A male bedhead at Loch Raven on June Uj. appeared to be in good 
health; he had not been seen there prior to tMs date (Haven Kolb). 

Small numbers of Canvasbacks that summered near the east end of the Bay 
Bridge must be considered to be cripples. 

Rails, Shorebirds. Marvin Hewitt found 1* White-rumped Sandpipers 
at Ridgely on taay 2lj this is the first spring observation from Caroline 
County. Five Willet nests, with k eggs in each, were found on May 2ii on 
a channel island of about 7^ acres at buoy 11 in Sinepuxent Bay (M.O.S. 
trip); this is six times the density that Stewart recorded for 200 acres 
of Elliott marsh in 1956. During the first week in June, Joseph A. Hagar 
located 9 Black Ralls in the Elliott marsh near Pokata Creek; the birds 
did not start calling until nearly 10 p.m. Brooke Meanley heard a single 
Black Rail on June 29 near Dames Quarter. 

Terns and Skimmers . Robert Stewart counted 5 Forster’s Terns at 
Snow Hill Landing on April, 3# tying the record for the State arrival date. 
There- was a fair production of birds at the big Robins Marsh Forster’s 
Tern colony despite human interference; on June 27, Hotchkiss and Miller 
found a cardboard box containing^ or 8 dozen tern eggs. The summer of 
1958 was a successful season for* the Comon Terns and Black Skimmers on 
the island beside the Ocean City bridge, although a few dozen young skim- 
mers were found dead on the island on August 23 (Lewis Qring). These two 
species gradually are being crowded off the channel islands by encroach- 
ing vegetation. Aiong the coast Least Terns are fighting a 'losing battle 
against humanity. A dozen years ago they nested in the dunes just north 
of Ocean City; that area now is covered with cottages. As recently as 
last year a few birds attempted to nest on the north end of Assateague 
Island, but that area now is over-run with people. Tempting nesting 
sites are created as new ’developments’ are filled in with dredged sand. 
These areas are attractive to the terns in early May, and they lay their 
eggs there; soon afterwards, swarms of people arrive with their dogs and 
the terns do not have a chance to raise their young. On Johnson Island, 
a more isolated area In Queen Annes County, Vernon Stotts counted 120 
Least Tern nests in June; this is the second-largest colony of this spe- 
cies ever reported in Maryland. Ellis Miller found that Gull-billed 
Terns on the islands off South Point had lost eggs as a result of high 
water. No young Gull-bills were seen by Maryland ornithologists this 
year, and the adult population appears to be decreasing. Royal Terns did 
well on the islands off South Point. On July 2, Stewart and Robbins band- 
ed 168 well-grown young and counted 90 eggs that had not yet hatched. 
Walter Booth obtained inland records of the Common Tern on May 23 (9 at 
Triadelphia Reservoir) and on June 25 (1 at Seneca). He also found a 
Black Tern at Triadelphia Reservoir on the perplexing ^date of June 22, 
midway between the normal spring- and fall-migration periods. 

Cuckoos. Cuckoos, which are notoriously late spring migrants, were 


78 


MARYLAND BIBDLIFS 


Vol. 14. No. 5 


still moving in numbers through the first half of June* On June 7, 
Robbins counted lU Black-billed Cuckoos and It Yellow-billed Cuckoos that 
were calling as they flew overhead, northward bound. The counts were 
made in the hour and a half before midnight from a vantage point in the 
middle of the Elliott marsh, where no cuckoo habitat was within hearing 
distance. He heard U more Black-bills in the first hour and a half of 
June 8. Robert Stewart heard 12 Black-bills calling as they flew over 
the same marsh on the night of June 17-18. 

Goatsuckers, Swift s . W oodpeckers . David Wetherbee heard a Chuck- 
will* s^wIcfow^aE - Bowie on June _ 2] _ tEIs is the first Prince Georges County 
report in many years. A single Chimney Swift was seen at Gibson Island 
on April 3* This tied the record that was set by Dick Kleen in Talbot 
County on~April 3, 1956, and is the earliest Maryland arrival in this 
century. A Red-headed Woodpecker, which is now a rarity anywhere on the 
Eastern Shore, was seen on Smith Island, Somerset County, on May 6 by 
Jack Bums. 

Swallows , Jays . A Cliff Swallow was seen at Patuxent Refuge on 
April B;th±s isxHe second earliest spring migrant recorded for Maryland 
(Springer). Many M.O.S. members were aware of the heavy, late flight of 
Blue Jays, but few people made a point of watching for a record-breaking 
migration date. Mrs. Katherine Goodpasture noted between 100 and 150 
Blue Jays moving northward over Scientists* Cliff in Calvert County on 
May 31j more than two weeks later than any other 1958 report, and several 
daysTater than the State record. 

Creepers . At Sycamore Landing in Montgomery County, Walter Booth 
found a Brown Creeper on May 16, breaking the record for the latest 
spring departure date for Maryland. In prior years, vagrants of this 
species have been seen in all the summer months in areas of low eleva- 
tion, but before 1958 there had been only one report of a bird that 
might have been nesting in our State. This was a female that was col- 
lected by Edward A. Preble at Bittinger on June 28, 1899. On June lU, 

1958 mary of the members that attended the Statewide field trip to Pleas- 
ant Valley Camp near Bitt Jiger had the pleasure of. watching 2 young Brown 
Creepers . The birds were found on the northwest siope of Meadow Mountain, 
at an elevation of 2700 feet on the trail to the high bog. They were 
first heard by Chandler Robbins and then sighted by Rebecca Cregar; the 
record constitutes the first definite evidence of the Brown Creeper nest- 
ing in Maryland. 

Wrens, Gnat catchers . Kinglets . All species of wrens except our 
rarest (the Bewick’s) were reported by some observers to be much scarcer 
than usual this spring. On June lU, Hank Kaester discovered a Blue-gray 
Gnatcatcher nest containing young; the nest was 50 feet up in a tall oak 
at pleasant Valley Camp near Bittinger. Although gnat catchers have been 
seen regularly at the camp in recent years, this is the first definite 
nesting record for our westermost county. Golden-crowned Kinglets were 
remarkably scarce during the spring migration; departure dates were re- 
ceived from only two counties. 


September 1953 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFK 


79 


Warblers , Tanagers . "The Birds of Maryland" shows a gap of almost 
20 miles between the Maryland breeding ranges of the Golden-winged War- 
bler and the closely related Blue-winged Warbler. This year, for the 
first time^ it was discovered that a segment of the breeding population 
of Blue-wings in the Foxville Valley had become polluted with Golden- 
wing blood. Bill Ryan first identified a "Brewster's" Warbler on May 11. 
Lucius, Evelyn, and Eliot Garvin (Atlantic Naturalist 13 (3): 182) found 
2 "Lawrence's" Warblers on June 8. Philip DuMont and Gordon Meade ob- 
served a Golden-wing in the same area. The only nest located belonged to 
a pair of birds in Blue-wing plumage (Walter Booth). The brushy slope 
where all these birds were found lies on the east side of the Foxville- 
Deerfield Road, 0,5 mile north of its junction with the Foxville Church 
Road. Observers who wish to study these interesting hybrids next summer 
should try to do so during May and June, as the birds are quiet and hard 
to locate later in the summer. Arrival dates on Table 1 that deserve 
special mention are those for the Blue-winged Warbler seen on April 21 at 
Gibson Island (Mrs. Gail Tappan and Mrs. W. L. Henderson), the Louisiana 
Waterthrush at Gambrills on March 2k (Mrs. Martina Luff), and the Ken- 
tucky Warbler on the Lower Eastern Shore on April 20 (Sam Dyke). The 
Blue-wing observation tied the earliest State record and the waterthrush 
report set a new record. Another State record was tied when Alicia 
Knotts found a Summer Tanager at Denton on April 21 . 

Evening Grosbeaks . This species lingered at several feeding sta- 
tions into the month of May* At Camp Greentop on Catoctin Mountain, 
members attending the State Convention saw small flocks flying northward 
just above the treetops in the first couple of hours after sunrise on 
May 10 and 11. Later dates were reported from Monkton on May 12 (Stephen 
Simon), Laurel on May 15 (Robbins), Aberdeen on May 15> (Grace Wright), 
and Denton on Majr 19 (Mrs. C. Bright). 

COMING EVENTS 

Sept. 19 Avid Avista T meeting, Annapolis. TRAVELERS* NIGHT at home 

of Carl Long (CO. 3-2575) , Beach Drive, Hillsmere Shores. 
Sept. 19 Talbot monthly meeting. Slides on HAWK MOUNTAIN. 

Sept. 20-21 Baltimore trip to MONUMENT KNOB near Hagerstown for migra- 
tion of hawks. Two days. Meet Edmondson Village parking 
lot, 8 A.M. , Saturday. For reservations call Hans Krimm, 

BE. 5-4500. 

Sept. 22 Caroline meeting, 8 P.M., at Camp Mardela. "OPERATION 
RECOVERY.** Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher. 

Sept. 24 Frederick meeting 8 P.M., C. Burr Artz Library. Illustra- 
ted lecture ALONG OLD C AND 0 CANAL. Mr. George Snyder. 
Sept. 27 Avid Avista' trip to PATUXENT RESEARCH RETTJGE. Meet 7:30 
A.M. , 119. Arcbwood Ave., Annpolis. Leader: Cdr. Ed Wilson. 
Sept. 27 Baltimore field trip, LAKE ROIAND. Meet 8:30 A.M. at Lake 
and Roland Avenues. Leader: Mrs. Robert Kaestner. 

Sept. 28 Takoma Park field trip C AND 0 CANAL with Talbot County 
Club. Meet Violets Lock, 8:30 A.M. Bring lunch. 



80 


MARYLAND BIRDLIFE 


Vol. 14 , No. 3 


Oct. 

5 

Oct. 

5 

Oct. 

10 

Oct. 

11 

Oct. 

13 

Oct. 

18 

Oct. 

18 

Oct. 

19 

Oct. 

24 

Oct. 

25 

Oct. 

27 

Oct. 

29 

Nov. 

2 

Nov. 

2 

Nov. 

7 

Nov. 

10 

Nov. 

14 

Nov. 

16 

Nov. 

20 

Nov. 

2£ 

Nov. 

2- 


Nov. 

2i 


Nov. 

21 


Nov. 

2‘ 


Dec. 

5 

Dec. 

5 

Dec. 

8 

Dec. 

14 

Dec. 

20- 

28 


Frederick field trip. Meet Baker Park Bead Shell, 2:00 P.M. 
Leader: Bill Shirey. 

Baltimore trip Beckley's Bridge near Mt. Carmel Road in 
FRETTYEOY area. Meet Hutzler's parking lot, 8 A.M. Bring 
lunch. Leaders: Mrs. Murison and Mrs. Geddes. 

Baltimore meeting. Pratt Library, 8 P.M. Color film: "THE 

BOBWHITE THROUGH THE YEAR." First meeting of the season. 
Annapolis trip to SANDY PT.; picnic and business meeting at 
Conrads'. Meet 2 P.M. , 121 Spa View Ave. Colonial 3-4676. 
Monthly meeting, Takoma Park. 

Talbot trip to Hawk Mountain. 

Baltimore trip to C AND 0 CANAL. Meet at Edmondson Village 
parking lot, 8 A.M. or Seneca Lock at 9:30 A.M. Bring lunch. 
Leader: Mrs. Elmer Y/orthley. 

Takoma Park trip to SKYLINE DRIVE, Va. Meet 8:30 A.M. at 
Panorama, junction U.S. 211 and Skyline Drive. Bring lunch. 
Talbot monthly meeting. 

Annapolis trip for early birding. Meet 7:30 A.M., Broad- 
water Pt., CHURCHTON, Md. Friel Sanders and E. Slater. 
Caroline monthly meeting. Meet 8 P.M. at Greensboro High 
School. Speaker: Marvin Hewitt, "BIRDS OF THE BIBLE." 

Frederick monthly meeting C. Burr Artz Library, 8 P.M. 
Baltimore trip to SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN. Meet at Edmondson 
Village parking lot, 8 A.M. Bring lunch. Leader: Mr. George 
Newcomer. 

Frederick field trip. Meet Baker Park Band Shell, 2 P.M. 
Leader: Dr. Herbert Tanner. 

Baltimore monthly meeting, ftratt Library 8 P.M. Program by 
our members who have been to interesting areas during the 
past summer. 

Takoma monthly meeting. 

Annapolis monthly meeting. Lecture by Chandler S. Robbins, 
"ALBATROSSES AT MIDWAY, " 

Takoma Park trip to Pt. Tobacco. Meet 7 A.M. , 419 Elm. 

Bring lunch. 

Talbot monthly meeting. Audubon Screen Tour Lecture. 
Baltimore trip to HLACOATER REFUGE. Trip by bus, if 
registration permits. Call Rodney Jones, HD 6-3442, by 
Nov. 19. Bring lunch. 

Caroline meeting at Greensboro High School, 8 P.M. 

Frederick monthly meeting. C. Burr Artz Library, 8 P.M. 
Baltimore BONUS LECTURE by Mr. James Fowlar , Cranbrook 
Institute, Michigan. Subject: "CAVES." 

Annapolis field trip to Blackwater Refuge. Meet 8 A.M. 

Dutch Mill on U.S. 50. Leader: Ed Barry. 

Baltimore meeting at Pratt Library, 8 P.M. Motion picture 
by Prof. David Howard. 

Talbot monthly meeting. 

Takoma Park monthly meeting. 

Baltimore field trip to DICKSYVILLE. Meet at Walbrook Junc- 
tion, 2 P.M. Leader: Mr. Hervey Brackbill. 

Christmas Bird Count. Dates and Localities to be announced.